Showing posts from January, 2016

Western Nebraska - A Winter Eden

Winter in western Nebraska This season, the weather in Western Nebraska is absolutely wonderful. Wading through waist-deep snow, the stark Sandhills are a white oasis. Spread across the blank space, a humble homestead appears in the distance. A halo of soft light is a soothing beacon of hope, offering sanctuary from the frigid cold. After a week of severe weather, the entire region is transformed into a pristine snowscape. An arctic chill unique to this place, seeps into your aching bones. Cradled in the Great Plains, this fertile crescent is inhabited by hardy settlers and exotic animals. Surprisingly, the Garden of Eden is located here, near the banks of the mighty North Platte. Along the slippery edge of a brown creek, arched cottonwoods form an intricate corridor into a lush reserve. Golden rays of afternoon light permeate the frozen wilderness, warming an icy bog. The secluded marsh is home to timid species that are spooked by my unwelcome appearance. Flushed from h

Elk Ridge Evergreen - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Elk Ridge Evergreen" Colored Pencil “Through art we can change the world.” ~ #twitterartexhibit It’s the morning after an early-winter storm and Evergreen’s Elk Ridge is dusted with a layer of fresh snow. Gloomy clouds have passed so the clear sky forms a bright-blue background. The far foothills are expressed with graduated tones of cool gray that blend into the distance. Sparkling under a radiant sun, a row of silvery spruce is stretched along the steep hillside. Up front, the dark pine is a rigid focal point that carries weight into the corner. Cast by the red tree, intricate shadows form an abstract pattern that’s spread across the snowy surface. It’s fascinating how an idea born in the brain is nurtured in the heart and transmitted through an eager arm, resulting in an expressive piece of art that’s completely handmade. Elk Ridge Evergreen is my contribution to the upcoming Twitter Art Exhibit: NYC . This unique event is an international exhibition of or

Bergen Peak First Snow - Colored Pencil Drawing

'Bergen Peak First Snow' Colored Pencil It’s late fall in Evergreen, Colorado and Bergen Peak is flecked with the season’s first snow. The warm palette of autumn hues is kindled by an orange undertone. Placed in a patch of fiery grasses, an abiding boulder is the obvious focal point. Rendering the unwavering rock is a simple study in the sharp contrast between dark and light. Drifted across the open meadow, an opaque snowfield dissolves into a corner of cool shadows. As a prelude to the looming peak above, a few ponderosa pine are painted indigo blue. The big mountain in the background is drawn with a bumpy line and tinted a verdant gray. Frosted with sparkling white, the summit’s complex contour is clarified by sun and shade. Overhead, a dispersing cloud is drawn back like a curtain, revealing a periwinkle sky. The entire landscape is posterized into a pattern of interlocking shapes filled with flat passages of color. The trails are cold and quiet as we anxiousl

Yellow Pine - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Yellow Pine" Colored Pencil It’s another gray day in Evergreen as the entire landscape is shrouded in an eerie mist. Stationed at the forest’s perimeter, a yellow pine is a sturdy sentinel standing watch over Elk Meadow. The tree’s transparent bough allows flecks of the orange field to stream through. Edges become softer and the colors less saturated as grayish hills are stair-stepped into the background like paper-cut silhouettes. Gnarled branches twist and turn, creating an intricate web of limber, red wood. Writhing towards a lemon sky, the spirited lookout is a living, breathing organism with a personality all its own. The foothills are a fascinating mix of plants, trees and animals, each depending on the other to survive. Though engulfed by a sea of ochre grasses, the ponderosa pine is perfectly suited to life on golden ground. Resilient in the face of fierce winds and heavy snow, the fearless straggler is an essential part of the alpine setting. It’s an un

Zion Canyon - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Zion Canyon" Colored Pencil Celebrated for its rivers, lakes, mountains and canyons, the Colorado Plateau is a complicated composition. It would take a lifetime to fully explore and comprehend this unusual place. To express southern Utah’s unending beauty through perfection would certainly fail. Devoid of tedious details, this desert landscape was drawn freely from an etched memory. It’s a sizzling, summer day in Zion Canyon where the clear air is hot and dry. An orange undertone permeates the textured paper and infuses the dreamy rendering with a warm glow. Providing some relief from the heat, a row of crooked cottonwoods lines the muddy riverbank. Exiting at an angle, the Virgin is a refreshing river whose color reflects the powder-blue sky. The soft edges of a wispy, white cloud seem to melt into an infinite atmosphere. Photographs are unable to interpret the scenery with acceptable realism so a vivid imagination is required. As a cactus anchors the corner,